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Yellowstone/Grand Teton Review, Day 10 – Jackson, Snow King Lodge, Jackson Town Square, 4th of July Parade, Snow King Mini-Golf, Town Square Shootout, Jackson Hole Rodeo and Fireworks
September 21, 2017 Travel

Our first night sleeping at Snow King Lodge was great. Although I stayed up late as always, I fell asleep quickly in the big comfortable bed. Out of the entire trip, the beds and pillows at Snow King Lodge were the best. I probably could have slept through the entire morning had I not been awakened by an early-rising noisy neighbor banging around in the next room. Everyone else slept through it, but once I woke up I was up. At least it gave me an opportunity to enjoy my coffee in relative quiet.

Although our original plan was to go to the annual Fourth of July pancake breakfast in Jackson Town Square, the kids slept so late that we wound up just eating some fruit and healthy snacks to hold us over until the 10:30 parade. The starting point of the parade route was very close to our hotel. We walked down to a great spot at the start of the parade where we could see all of the floats and the kids could catch whatever treats were tossed to the crowd. The both wound up with more loot than they could carry.

The parade was bigger than I expected for a small town, but it still had that wonderful small town atmosphere to it. Politicians, civic groups, churches, government agencies and services, classic car owners, business owners, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, and a variety of others participated in the parade.

After the parade, we walked back to our room to drop off the big pile of candy, toys, t-shirts, and the ear of corn that were tossed to us from the floats. Then we headed to Jackson Town Square to the Wort Hotel to eat at the Silver Dollar Grill. I think the great reviews of the restaurant were likely posted by people who went there for dinner rather than lunch. They did not offer most of the dinner items at lunchtime. While the atmosphere was great, the lunch meal was unimpressive. However, I think it probably would be a fun place to go for dinner and drinks.

After lunch, we returned to the hotel so that the children could play at the Snow King mini-golf course and on the bungee trampoline. The mini-golf was a fun experience with a few holes that were harder than expected. The bungee trampoline was also fun for the kids, but I would recommend watching the employees carefully to make sure they are not getting careless. While the employee working with our children seemed to know what she was doing, the young man who was working with another small kid was being very reckless. He was sending a small girl way too high in the air, using his own weight to propel her much higher than her own weight would have been able to send her. Although he had just started the job the day before, he was already training a new employee on how to do the job and telling her he wasn’t supposed to be doing what he was doing. Eventually the child became scared and red in the face after she tumbled over high in the air, and he had to bring her down to a reasonable level. I don’t think the girl’s parents were close enough to hear him as he was talking about how he was not following the safety rules with their child.

The Town of Jackson provides free public transportation all around town. The best part was that the first stop on the bus route was directly in front of our hotel. The buses run about thirty minutes apart in each direction, one running to the east and the other running to the west. This came in handy when we wanted to go back to the Town Square, but didn’t want to deal with trying to find a parking place. One of the bus stops is a block away from Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream, so we decided to pay them a second visit.

After getting ice cream, we stayed in the park area to watch the Town Square Shootout at 6:00 p.m. This is a street performance beside the town square in the area in front of Moo’s. The Town Square Shootout has been performed every day except Sundays since 1957. It was a fun show that became particularly memorable to my son when one of the performers gave him a spent bullet shell from the show.

We took the bus back to the hotel and went to eat at the hotel restaurant for a quick meal. The dinner was a significant improvement over the lunch we ate there the day before. I would not say it was a great meal, but it was certainly better than the average meals we had been eating in the national parks.

After dinner, we walked to the Jackson Hole Rodeo. I had been to small rodeos before, but never something this size. It was an impressive show and all of us had fun except for my son, who became bored and restless after about a half hour. The rodeo lasted until around 10:00 p.m. While the rodeo was a good experience overall, I was annoyed that they shut off the lights while everyone was still trying to get out. It seemed like a bad idea to have that many people trying to get through a very dimly lit area. It also hurt the vendors who had tables set up along the way out, since no one was stopping in the dark to try to look at what they were selling.

Our walk back to the hotel was directly beside where the entire town was congregating to watch the fireworks show. We were about halfway back to our hotel when the 10:30 fireworks started, so we sat down to watch from where we were. It was an impressive show and would certainly be a must-see item if you are in town on July 4th.

After the fireworks show, we returned to the Snow King Lodge to repack our luggage for the return flight. We only had a few hours until we had to return the rental car in the early hours of the morning, so we got everything ready for leaving before we went to bed.

Overall, spending the 4th of July in Jackson Hole was one of the best days of the trip as well as one of the best 4th of Julys I’ve celebrated.

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